$8 million dollar boost to Mental Health services for Northern Sydney

$8 million dollar boost to Mental Health services for Northern Sydney

02 October 2013

Eight million dollars is to be invested, over the next three years, into a new local mental health program, launched today, that will benefit people living with severe and persistent mental illness.

Not-for-profit local health organisation, Northern Sydney Medicare Local (NSML) is spearheading the Northern Sydney Partners in Recovery program in the Ryde, Hornsby, Ku-ring-gai and Hunters Hill local government areas and will partner with over 20 community and non-government organisations, including Black Dog Institute, Northside Community Forum and Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury to deliver the care-coordinated program.

Internationally renowned Psychiatrist Professor Gavin Andrews, was the keynote speaker at the program launch, which was also attended by the Member for Bennelong, Mr John Alexander OAM MP who officially launched the program. The speakers at todays launch were joined by a panel of consumers and carers who shared their first-hand experience of the mental health system.

Speaking at todays launch, NSMLs Acting CEO and Director of Research, Mental and Community Health, Dr James Baker said The Northern Sydney Partners in Recovery program aims to better support people with severe and persistent mental illness and their carers and families, by getting the services and support each individual wants or could benefit from, to work in a more collaborative, coordinated and integrated way.

It is estimated that up to 500 people living with severe and persistent mental illness will benefit from the Northern Sydney Partners in Recovery program within the next three years.

In addition to their specific healthcare needs, people living with severe and persistent mental illness are more likely to face a range of other challenges including unemployment, or dependence on income support, and homelessness. Less than a third will have completed school; and on average it is expected that they will have a life expectancy that is 30 years less than the national average .

This complexity of need, which has far reaching effects on families, workplaces and society as a whole, requires a new and better coordinated mental health approach which Partners in Recovery will provide, said Dr Baker.

A strong consumer-centred recovery model, focused on the strengths and needs of each individual living with severe and persistent mental illness, can lead to better health outcomes, continued Dr Baker.

Health, housing, income support, disability, education, and employment are just some of the sectors where improvements can be made to enable a better healthcare journey, continued Dr Baker.

Working with program partners, NSML expects the Northern Sydney Partners in Recovery program to be operational from November 2013.

Were very pleased to have the opportunity to support local health needs and build reform in an area that needs a community solution. The collaboration with our program partners will mean the delivery of tailored and meaningful services and support to people who most need them, Dr Baker concluded.

People with severe and persistent mental illness, their carers or family members who wish to learn more about the Northern Sydney Partners in Recovery program can contact the Partners in Recovery Coordinator at PIR@nsml.com.au or 02 9477 8700.